Thursday, March 06, 2014

BNSF cites good 4Q, full-year results

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BNSF has reported operating income for the fourth quarter of 2013 of $1.88 billion, up 15% from $164 billion in income in the fourth quarter of 2012. Income for the full year of 2013 was $6.67 billion, up 11% from $6.0 billion in 2012.

Revenue rose 6% during both the fourth quarter and the full year, with 4Q revenue of $5.76 billion and full-year revenue of $22.0 billion.

BNSF said its opeation ratio dropped 2.7 points to 66.6% during the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago quarter; it's full-year operating ratio was 69.1%, down from 70.7% in 2012. BNSF noted its "[o]perating ratio excludes impacts of BNSF Logistics."

"Fourth-quarter amounts are calculated as the difference between the YTD December and YTD September amounts," BNSF also advised in its performance report, released Monday, March 3, 2014.

Though booming demand for crude-by-rail product movement spurred traffic and revenue growth, aided by strong domestic intermodal activity, BNSF coal shipments somewhat surprisingly also edged higher in the fourth quarter, up 3%.

The railroad said, "BNSF continues to invest heavily in maintaining and renewing its network to increase capacity for growth and to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. Our 2013 capital commitments were $4.0 billion compared with $3.6 billion in 2012. Our 2014 capital commitments plan is $5.0 billion. We will spend $2.3 billion on our core network and related assets.

"In addition, we will continue investing in our locomotive and rail car fleet, in projects that expand and improve the efficiency of our infrastructure, and continue installing Positive Train Control in response to a federal mandate."

BNSF is a subsidiary of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway. Inc.